Motor Homes: should you install a carbon monoxide detector?

Travelling by motorhome, caravan or van has become very popular in recent years! Synonymous with freedom and independence, these transport options allow you to set off at a moment’s notice and change your holiday itinerary as you go along. However, living in the open air does not mean you can neglect important safety rules. As well as a smoke alarm, a battery powered carbon monoxide detector is a must-have product if you want to enjoy peace of mind on your travels. The risk of poisoning by carbon monoxide gas is very real in homes and motorhomes alike. The Netatmo Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector is now certified for installation in “converted vehicles” such as vans, caravans and motorhomes. We explain how to effectively detect high carbon monoxide levels in your vehicle in order to keep yourself and your family safe.

Why should motorhomes be fitted with a carbon monoxide detector? 

Staying in a motorhome, van or caravan, whether permanently or temporarily, does not rule out the need for safety accessories. Although decorations or furnishings are a nice way to fit out the interior of a motorhome, you should give priority to safety equipment. Along with a smoke alarm, a carbon monoxide detector is one of the most important pieces of kit you need to install. Domestic hazards (fire, gas leakage, etc.) are just as likely in a motorhome as in a flat.  Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless, and non-irritating gas, making it difficult to detect. This gas poses a serious health hazard as its inhalation can cause intoxication or even asphyxiation.

Carbon monoxide is produced as the result of the incomplete burning of wood or gases such as butane or propane. It can also leak out due to the use of a faulty gas heater or oven. In the home, a leak most often comes from appliances that are damaged or have not been serviced for a long time. In motorhomes and caravans, this gas can come from a stove or cooker so it’s a good idea to check these appliances regularly. To protect yourself and your family, it is important to install a carbon monoxide detector in your motorhome (this also applies to converted vans or caravans). There are also good habits that you can adopt, such as making sure you air out your vehicle properly or avoiding the use of unsuitable appliances for heating. 

How does a carbon monoxide detector work?  

A carbon monoxide detector keeps you safe by detecting abnormal levels of carbon monoxide in the air. If an abnormal level of this dangerous gas is detected, it directly warns the occupants of the motorhome or caravan. A carbon monoxide detector must have an alarm loud enough to wake up the occupants. The Netatmo Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector has an audible alarm of 85 dB which can alert residents even while they are sleeping.  

Be careful when buying a carbon monoxide detector as they look very similar to smoke detectors. Although both types of alarm will serve to protect you and keep your home or caravan safe, they do not have the same functions. A smoke detector will alert the inhabitants when it detects smoke caused by a fire.  

What’s the best way to install a carbon monoxide detector in a motorhome?  

In a house or a flat, your carbon monoxide alarm will be best placed in specific rooms: those containing a combustion appliance, such as the kitchen, the garage or the cellar. With regards to motorhomes, carbon monoxide detectors are best placed on an indoor wall, preferably not too far from the kitchen. However, certain distances must still be observed. For example, the detector must be placed at least 2 metres away from combustion appliances and no more than 1.5 metres off the ground.  

The Netatmo Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector protects you against poisoning  

The Netatmo Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector measures the carbon monoxide level in a room or a recreational vehicle in real time.  If this dangerous gas is detected, it alerts users with an 85 dB audible alarm, prompting them to leave the premises immediately and to call for help.  

If the user is not at home, the Netatmo Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector also sends a notification to their smartphone, enabling them to take action and keep their loved ones safe. In a house, the detector will use a Wi-Fi connection but if it’s installed in a van, caravan or motorhome, a 4G signal will be required to alert users to the danger remotely. This warning can be especially valuable if a leak occurs while you are away from your vehicle as you will know not to go back inside. The Netatmo Carbon Monoxide Detector complies with European regulations. It is CE certified (EN 50291) and NF certified for products offering the highest safety standards. It is now also certified to EN50291-2:2019 for use in a van or motorhome. 

Quick and easy installation  

The Netatmo Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector is battery operated so it works with no need for electrical connections and is quick to install. Simply attach it to the wall, whether that be in a house, caravan or mobile home, and download the Home + Security app. Thanks to its simple and elegant design, it will easily blend in with its surroundings, even in the smallest spaces.

A carbon monoxide detector with a 10-year battery life  

Given that the detection sensors wear out over time, it is recommended that all carbon monoxide detectors be replaced after 10 years. Certain carbon monoxide detectors work with batteries that need to be changed more often but this is not the case with the Netatmo Smart Detector.  Thanks to its long battery life (it’s powered by sealed batteries), the Netatmo Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector is completely autonomous for 10 years, with no need for the user to carry out any maintenance. When the batteries reach the end of their life, it sends a notification to the user to alert them and remind them to buy a new carbon monoxide detector to protect themselves. To further maximise its effectiveness, the Detector also has a self-test function to ensure that all of its key components are working perfectly. 

Prices and availability of the Netatmo Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector 

The Netatmo Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector is priced at €99.99, with no hidden costs or home automation boxes to add on. It is available for purchase at, Amazon, Boulanger, Leroy Merlin, Rexel and Sonepar. The Home + Security app is completely free and compatible with iPhones and iPads from iOS 14 and Android smartphones and tablets from 5.0.  

*The Netatmo Carbon Monoxide Detector has received EN50291-2:2019 certification for converted vehicles.